Building an Astrophotography Camera
An astrophotography camera is a great way to capture videos at night. These cameras are designed to capture infrared light and work in low light conditions. These cameras are very expensive to buy new, however, it's possible to convert an older camera for very little money. The process isn't that difficult although it is quite time consuming. It also involves taking the camera apart, which means you need to have a complete tool kit with small headed screwdrivers.
Although most people will use webcams, these also require the use of a telescope to find anything. A digital camera with a zoom lens makes it much easier to see lots of things in the night sky without needing to have a telescope.
Step 1: Collecting all the Parts
First, you need to get your hands on everything that you require. The most important component is a digital camera. Any camera which has a sensor 2 Mega Pixels or higher will be okay for the job. If you're lucky, you will be able to get one of these for free. You will also need some insulated alligator clips, a battery holder, heat sink, switch, AA batteries and a 9B battery.
Step 2: Opening the Camera
Next, you need to open the camera by undoing all of the screws. This can be difficult at times because the screws are often hidden under trim. Make sure that you record where all the screws come from. It's not a bad idea to take a photo to review later.
Step 3: Removing the Lens
When you open the camera, you need to be careful because there are lots of cables which connect both halves. You need to disconnect these cables as gently as possible.
When you have opened the camera, you need to remove the lens unit. You need to find out whether or not you can remove the lens completely. Many digital cameras require the lens to startup correctly. If there is no information sent from the lens, then the camera will fail to start up. Make sure that the lens is attached.
Step 4: Cooling
The CCD Sensor gets very hot and must be cooled. To do this, use a heat sink attached directly to the CCD. You should also remove the internal batteries and locate it outside the camera. This will help to reduce the heat even more.